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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 04:31pm
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Last night a fight broke out right after I had called a foul. It was my first fight in four years as a ref. The game was a boys JV game.

The two combantants were toe to toe swinging away. My partner and I along with the other players finally pulled them apart.

I knew who the two combantants were but as far as noticing if anyone came on the court, forget it, it was utter chaos for about 10 or 15 seconds. The fight took place directly in front of one of the benches so I think one of the coach came on the floor to help get his player under control. (I for one appreciated his help.) Because of my position when it started I was caught in the middle and had all I could do to keep from getting caught with a stray punch.

What should you do when a fight breaks out? Should one of the officails go directly to the table area just to observe both benches?



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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 04:39pm
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Depending on the size of the crew...
One official should step back and observe.
The other should blow, blow, blow his whistle til he's almost in their ear. I'm not about to step between 2 HS boys who have already gone to blows. A couple of months ago I would have considered it depending on how violent they're getting but now I'm recovering from an injury and wouldn't dare. If coach is on the floor helping pull his player back, then I'm not penalizing him for coming on the floor.

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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 04:51pm
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I have actually never had a fight in a game. I think I personally would separate the players, but I don't really know. How have others handled this situation in breaking up the fight and enforcing penalties for players coming off the bench?
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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 05:12pm
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I have no problem getting involved physically before they start swinging, I will seperate them, once the fight has actually started, I'm not risking my personal saftey.

I will wait for them to tire out, they will eventually and then use that oppurtunity to get them apart.

As the off-fight official, I would be making sure the benches aren't going anywhere, try to remember people who come onto the floor and observe anything that happens around the fight.

I also would not penalize a coach for coming onto the floor.

Avoid grabbing players from behind, they may think you are an opponent or you may grab them causing them to be defenseless. Keep other people from getting involved, whether it be bench personell or players.

3-person crew gives you a little help, with this many people on the floor I have no problem focusing my attention on one person in a 1v1 fight. For example if I can seperate the major instigator I will just keep him away, and teh other two officials can clean up the rest.

Also use that whistle.
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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 05:29pm
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You have to be very careful. I tried to break up a fight once. I got caught with a straight left jab. Instantly, I fell to my knees, I felt the gym spinning as I collapsed face down on the Division Line. Goodness...that fourth grade girl could punch.

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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 06:23pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by jdccpa

The two combantants were toe to toe swinging away. My partner and I along with the other players finally pulled them apart.

I knew who the two combantants were but as far as noticing if anyone came on the court, forget it, it was utter chaos for about 10 or 15 seconds.

Never break up a fight. If you can get between 'em before they start fighting and stop it before they get going, fine. If they do start fighting before you can get there, then stand back, let 'em go and let the coaches/gym administrators take care of it. Your job is to observe everything that happens concerning that fight. You can't do that if you're in the middle of it. When you hand in your game report, you will expected to supply some very obvious and needed info- such as who came off the bench, were there any other fights, did fans get involved, etc. If you can't answer those questions, then someone up above ain't gonna be too happy. Of course, I also didn't state the really obvious- you could get hurt sticking your nose in there.

Once they start going, just stand back and take numbers. It'll get broken up just as quick, believe it or not, no matter who's doing the breaking up.
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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 06:53pm
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In football, I've broken up a fight. It was a freshman game where the two guys would NOT stop, so the R and I stepped in and pulled them apart.

I don't think I'd do that again, and I definately wouldn't do it in basketball.
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Old Thu Dec 29, 2005, 10:58pm
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I agree -- maybe one person go table side of the fight - the other stay opposite.

1 observe the fight - the other observe the benches and take down numbers.

Beckon the coaches, and stay the hell away from the players.

Now if you can step between two players before they're within arms reach of each other... by all means. Go for it! but don't iniate contact with a player.

I made the mistake of stepping between two players once and accidently chest bumping one of them. I thought my assignor was going to pull me off the floor right away as I almost had to run the coach.
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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 01:24am
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Had a discussion about this after my game on Tuesday night. Basically, came to the same conclusion everyone else is saying. If you can prevent, do it. If it's already started, take numbers and let the coaches and Admins take care of it.
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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 02:14am
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Quote:
Originally posted by tjones1
Had a discussion about this after my game on Tuesday night. Basically, came to the same conclusion everyone else is saying. If you can prevent, do it. If it's already started, take numbers and let the coaches and Admins take care of it.
I agree - no way I'm stepping between players that are already throwing punches.
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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 07:07am
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisSportsFan

The other should blow, blow, blow his whistle til he's almost in their ear.
This is one of the best things, IMO. The whistle is irritating and many times will slow things up.

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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 09:43am
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomegun
Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisSportsFan

The other should blow, blow, blow his whistle til he's almost in their ear.
This is one of the best things, IMO. The whistle is irritating and many times will slow things up.

I agree. In this case, the whistle is probably the best weapon that we possess.
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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 11:17am
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Adivse I've been given;

One official get's close to the fight. Don't comit to getting in the middle - but get there. Whistle and striped shirt are your weapons. You can keep others out by being there. Can jump in at lull and manage break up if safe to do so.

Is there anything worse than watching a hocky ref during a fight?
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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 12:12pm
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I'm not going to give legal advice, but, as an attorney, I know what I am going to do (or not do) in any fight:

I WILL NOT under any circumstances physically (with my hands) separate players. I MIGHT, depending on the level of play and how I feel things are actually going, get in between two players that start talking at each other and are still more than a body width apart. But if hands are raised for a shove or punch, I'm backing out of there. I'm getting the numbers of anyone involved, and then I'm taking a quick look at the benches to see if anyone's off.

Whatever coaches come off and are acting as peacemakers, I'm determining that they were beckoned on the court and are allowed. Players off the bench, of course, are all ejected, and if a coach grabs an opposing player, he's gone.

I also am going to make damn sure I stay in self preservation mode, and I would probably move as close to the center of the court as possible. Get with your partner(s) and sty there until order is resolved. Do not leave the court without both or all three of you together under any circumstances. As far as officials go, its never 'every man for himself.'

At this point, if police are not in the building, I will suspend the game until they arrive, and insist that one stay with me and my partner(s) until we leave the parking lot. After the game, I am making very detailed notes on what happened and will file appropriate reports. I'm also not talking to any coaches.
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Old Fri Dec 30, 2005, 01:25pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ref Daddy
Is there anything worse than watching a hocky ref during a fight?
They're trained to deal with fighting. The Fed has no such training, except to say don't get involved.
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